Charges against C.W. Jefferys officials dropped
Charges against three former administrators at Toronto's C.W. Jefferys Collegiate have been dropped.
A former principal and two former vice principals had been charged under the Ontario Child and Family Services Act with failing to report an alleged sexual assault. Those charges were dropped this week.
A justice of the peace decided too much time had passed between the alleged assault and the charges, which were laid in January after separate reports of the incident were given to a panel reviewing safety in Toronto schools.
An investigation at the school began after 15-year-old student Jordan Manners was shot and killed at the North York school in May 2007. That investigation uncovered allegations of a gang sexual assault on a 14-year-old girl in a school washroom.
It was alleged the assault was reported to administrators but they did not forward the complaint to authorities. Six male suspects were later charged with gang sexual assault, forcible confinement and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.
Former vice-principal Silvio Tallevi has since retired. Former principal Charis Newton-Thompson and former vice-principal Stan Gordon are on paid leave pending the results of an internal investigation into the allegations, said Toronto District School Board communications officer May Moore.
"It will still be reviewed whether any disciplinary action will be taken," she told CTV.ca in a phone interview on Friday.
The school board's lawyer, Grant Bowers, said Friday that the internal investigation had begun even before the police learned of the allegations, but the board put the process on hold while the issue was before the courts.
He said individual meetings have been scheduled with Newton-Thompson and Gordon to go over the board's findings, the first of the two set for next week. Decisions on how to move forward will be made after the employees have provided their input, he said.
Bowers said the board was surprised the charges were laid in the first place.
"The Child and Family Services act has always (dealt) with situations where adults hurt kids," he told CTV.ca. "When kids are of criminal age... that concerns the police, not Children's Aid Society... The whole thing is very blurry."
He said the board has a strict policy on reporting allegations of assault.
A committee-devised plan to improve school safety in Toronto will be presented to the school board on May 21.